Monthly Archives: December 2014

Raising a Girl Child

There’s s310856_318571271489865_790236711_no much to instill in girls to help them grow into independent, happy, grounded and well-adjusted women.

Something I am working with at the moment is allowing my daughter to make her own choices around the clothes she wears, what kind of jewelry, if any, she likes to wear and supporting her to choose her own hair style, with or without accessories.

I do my best to approach her well thought out choices, with an attitude of acceptance. I believe it’s vitally important that girls, from a young age, learn how to make choices over their own bodies. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable to have her personal appearance choices, ridiculed or denied, because of another person’s personal preferences or belief systems.

“I want to raise a daughter, that feels like she can say “NO”, when someone is trying to make her do something, to her body, that she doesn’t like…”

I want her to be able to stand up strong for herself if someone, at any age, is trying to force her to look a certain way. I am raising a child, who hopefully, won’t get too snowed under by peer pressure as she gets older, who won’t regret her first sexual experiences because she didn’t think she was allowed to say “NO” to something she didn’t like, or wasn’t ready for.

Letting her choose her clothes, her hair, whether she wants her ears pierced or not, may seem like unimportant things for a 7yo, but for me they are providing a vital foundation for her future as a self empowered teenager and woman. One who knows who she is, understands what she likes and DOESN’T REQUIRE APPROVAL from others, especially from men or boys, to feel validated and worthy.

I hope my girl is beginning to realise that how she looks is only her business, that she is beautiful regardless of what is happening on the outside and that her family and friends will love & respect her, no matter what she wears on her body, in her hair or anywhere….

In Beauty

Shekinah Leigh

P.S. I run regular SHAKTI Girls Circles, to support Girls & Young Women throughout their ‘coming of age’…

Rules, Space & FREEDOM

purpleswirl dress copy

How are you with rules? For as long as I can remember I have strongly disliked other peoples rules, especially those that seem arbitrary and unnecessary.

Unless I am a decision maker in creating the rules, or they actually resonate with me as a truth I can abide by, then THEY ACTUALLY DRIVE ME INSANE! From little rules, to big rules, from my partners rules, to government rules and anything in between…it dissolves my sense of freedom and autonomy to always be considering other peoples rules…

I have only once lived in a share house and that was once too much! As a Leo my home is MY castle, my den, my territory, my rules! FOR ME MY HOME IS MY SANCTUARY, it is the one place that I am free to be me, no-one else’s rules or laws restricting my flow and spontaneity of expression, which is a totally feasible way to live if you are single….however, one day I had a child! Gone were the days, (yes literally days), of peace & silence, all of a sudden my home was full of shoulds, obligations, responsibilities and a distinct lack of spontaneity & quiet. Throw into that mix a partner and some days I can feel like I’m suffocating in self censorship just so that there is peace & harmony in the home.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my family and I know that they make daily compromises to live with me and my rules too. They are awesome, we have a great life but I’m not going to lie, I stop functioning well if I am always surrounded by others and am feeling a constant requirement to meet others needs. Some may think that’s utterly selfish but it is how I am, I have pretended otherwise in the past, to my own detriment. Actually, for me, selfishness would be not considering the needs of those that I live with & love and not putting those needs above my own at times, sometimes quite often, especially with a child.

As a woman, mother and a lover, who is sensitive and feels things deeply, both spoken and unspoken, I am constantly aware of the energies I am surrounded by, regardless of whether they are positive, negative or neutral. I am also an introvert (yes even Leo’s can be introverted), my very nature desires lots of space and solo time to re-energize, integrate and process life, add to that a need to escape from society’s rules and constant censorship and some days I’m bordering on being a hermit!  This doesn’t have to be a bad thing, when I do get alone time, it is my opportunity to reset. To drop the need to hold space for others needs and to come back into myself. WITHOUT THIS ALONE TIME, I BEGIN TO LOSE SIGHT OF WHAT IS ME AND WHAT IS THEM. Without the space to reintegrate all the pieces of me that get lost, scattered, blurred and buried in the presence of others, I actually can become incredibly ungrounded, unhappy and pretty messy. No one enjoys that!

It’s not always easy or even possible to negotiate lots of space when you are in a family and while I need time alone, I also need time to connect with my man, time to be with my daughter and of course time to work, play and catch up with loved ones. It is a juggle, one I am still practicing with the intention of mastering one day. In the meantime I am learning new & creative ways of making more space within the limited space we have. I am learning better ways of communicating my needs and I am discovering different ways to access the time I need, so that I can be the FULLY loving, radiant and sensual woman that I naturally am….some days it looks really good and some days it’s a definite work in progress! Some days I just break all the rules and love every minute of it!

I would love to hear how you create more space and freedom in your life? How do you negotiate all the rules? Drop a comment below and share your FREEDOM wisdom!

 

In Beauty

Shekinah Leigh

Non-Attachment is Over-rated!

IMG_1520What is this thing about non-attachment, why is it so important to strive for it? What is this talk about not being ‘at the effect’? I get that it must be nice to not be in pain, or suffering, or discomfort over things that happen but if you aren’t affected by anything, than why bother doing anything? If you aren’t affected by your husband going out one day and never coming home again, why where you married in the first place? If you aren’t affected by what you eat, why would you ever eat organic? If you aren’t affected when your kids are feeling sad or upset, why did you bother having them?

I have looked deeply at this ‘non-attachment’ idea and this not being ‘at the effect’ idea and I am not sure it’s that attainable for someone who feels deeply and operates from a place of connection and sensitivity. There are many times when I would love to be non-attached to a situation or outcome, however, if I didn’t care, why would I even be there in the first place, why would I have invested time and energy in it? Do I want to live a life where there is a lack of passion, compassion, or emotion involved in my life? I don’t think so and yet here I am, feeling envious of those who can detach, those who don’t feel as much, those who don’t care as much. I am sure many will say, I do care, just as much but really how is that possible if you aren’t affected by it?

Perhaps I am just so far off mastering this enlightened way of being, that I can’t even grasp the concept of, being able to be, completely in love with something, invested, passionate, involved, intimate and committed to something and also not be at the effect of how it looks, feels, sounds, tastes, interacts or behaves? Perhaps my road is very long but at this point in time I am even wondering if it’s a road that I want to travel. I am yet to meet someone who does non-attachment lovingly and consistently and is living their truth. We all have our moments I’m sure, I love my daughter, more than anything but I can be non-attached from her misplacing a favourite toy because I know it will show up and if it doesn’t, I know that she will eventually have another favourite toy. However, I am not detached from the very real pain that she feels at the loss, temporary or otherwise. I care for her deeply and her pain is my pain and so I will do my best to not only support her through it, as ridiculous as the issue may seem to me but I will also take steps to rectify the situation. I will look for that toy, I won’t just “trust” that it will show up, or convince her that her attachment is unhealthy and unnatural. There’s a lot to be said for trust but there is also a lot to be said for being a determiner in your own life. We are no longer just animals living off a primal brain only hardwired for survival & procreation, we are so much more than that, most of us anyway and we are more than that because we invest emotionally in things and in people. We become attached. When we become attached we are motivated to take action.

Why has attachment earned the label of being unhealthy and unnatural? Attachment is what mothers and babies have, without it the next generation would not survive and certainly wouldn’t thrive. Attachment is what makes a hero run into a burning building to save another persons life. Attachment is what makes people want to fight for the environment, to stop coal seam gas and to regenerate our forests. Attachment is behind every activists calling, every parents striving, every committed pair bonding, every tear we cry over the death of a loved one, pet, relationship or project. Attachment can give us more depth, more compassion, more empathy, more joy and less selfishness. Perhaps if we started calling it bonding instead of attachment people would feel differently about it? The fact is that people bond, love songs are not a recent development, dying to save your children is not a modern phenomena.

Now, I am a woman and while I can only speak on my own behalf, as a woman, I have many things in common with other women and as a woman, I am at the effect of the hormones that are generated, released and experienced within my body. When a woman orgasms she releases oxytocin, many of us know this as the love hormone. When a woman births naturally she releases oxytocin, when a woman breastfeeds, she releases oxytocin. It is our main bonding hormone, I will say it again, it is released for women, during orgasm, birth and breastfeeding. At the height of pleasure and of pain, in the depth of surrender and intensity, this same hormone is released with the intention of creating feelings of pleasure, intimacy, attachment, love and bonding. When we speak of oxytocin we naturally interchange the terms of love and bonding, and yet, apparently, the highest attainable consciousness we can strive for is “non-attachment”, who decided this? Someone who was tired of how messy and confusing life as a human being can be at times? Someone was hoping to avoid the pain and suffering that comes from loving and caring so deeply?

I get that there needs to be a level of so called ‘non-attachment’ with some things, we can’t be completely, heartfully, soulfully invested in every little thing in life but for me, there are some big things that totally deserve my complete commitment and devotion. This will mean that I am deeply invested in what that looks, sounds and feels like, I will be affected, sometimes quite deeply, when these commitments trigger joy, happiness, pleasure, pain, disappointment, anger and grief. That’s just how it works for me.

So I guess what I am saying is that in my quest for, not caring as much, I have realised that it is caring deeply that makes me who I am. I do require emotional attachment to commit to something or someone and when I do I will be at the effect of it. I am not someone who can detach easily.

So my search continues, along the path that leads to more love, more care and more devotion, without that needing to create more pain and suffering along the way. In the meantime, I will do my best every day, to be my authentic and real self. I will not apologise for wanting to make time with loved ones a priority, I will not apologise for being disappointed if someone else doesn’t feel as deeply about something as I do. I will allow myself to feel hurt and disappointed if I feel let down, or unloved, regardless of whether that was the intention behind the action or not. I am allowed to feel all of these things and more, I should not have to defend my feelings, I should not have to practice ‘detachment” just so that it won’t hurt. I will care as much and I will suffer and struggle, rejoice and celebrate, as the moment dictates to me, always to the best of my ability…..

In Beauty,
Shekinah Leigh
“Sacred Feminine Practitioner”